Foster has concussion, second TD of season on same day

Linebacker Mason Foster had his second interception return for a score on Sunday.
Linebacker Mason Foster had his second interception return for a score on Sunday.
Published Nov. 19, 2013

TAMPA — A concussion in the second quarter took Bucs LB Mason Foster out of Sunday's home victory against Atlanta, and it also kept him from talking about his 37-yard interception return for a touchdown until Monday afternoon.

"It was a great play, great call, just having fun playing football," Foster said after team meetings as the Bucs got the day off from practice. "Dekoda (Watson) did a great job rushing the passer. Great play for our defense. When you play hard, stuff like that happens."

It was Foster's second pick-six this season, one short of the team single-season record (he had an 85-yard return against the Saints in September). He said he has a little offense in his background to help him with the occasional open-field move.

"I played a little fullback, played quarterback in high school. A little something like the old days," said Foster, who had one college pick-six while playing for Washington against Arizona's Nick Foles.

Foster was injured in a collision with teammate Dashon Goldson late in the second quarter. Coach Greg Schiano said Foster will be observed in the next few days to check on concussion symptoms, but he could play Sunday at Detroit.

"I feel good," Foster said. "It's one of those things. I'm going to go talk to the trainers and get it all taken care of. I've never had a concussion, so this is the first time something like that came up, but we'll deal with it. It doesn't worry me. We've got great trainers, so I know I'm in good hands."

Foster is one of three NFL players with two touchdowns off interceptions this season, joining two cornerbacks — the Redskins' DeAngelo Hall and the Bears' Tim Jennings.

His two scores off INTs match the most by a non-defensive back since Bucs LB Derrick Brooks had three in 2002.

Adjustments worked: Before the game Nov. 3 at Seattle, DT Gerald McCoy met with Schiano and made a simple request: give us more chances to come straight off the ball and rush the passer.

The Bucs defense under Bill Sheridan is well known for its array of line stunts and blitzes. Since that meeting, McCoy has four sacks, including three against Atlanta.

"Since Seattle until (Sunday), I think it's showing with me getting one-on-one and how much pressure I'm getting on the quarterback and the opportunities they're giving me," McCoy said.

On Sunday, McCoy halted Atlanta's first series with back-to-back sacks of Matt Ryan.

"Coach tells us, if you've got any issues, especially the leaders, if you've got anything you think can help, then come tell me," McCoy said. "That's why I love coach. His door is open any time. … He's open to any ideas we have because this is his second year as an NFL head coach and he said he's learned more from players than any coach he's ever been around because we're the ones that are out there. His door being open. I just went up there, sat down and we discussed it."

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Could be back: Rookie CB Johnthan Banks went down late in Sunday's game with a shoulder injury. Schiano said the injury is "very painful" but he is day to day and could return Sunday at Detroit.

"Hopefully by the end of the week he'll be able to go," said Schiano, adding that DE Da'Quan Bowers, held out of the Atlanta game following concussion-like symptoms, should also return.

Let's roll: McCoy said he's looking forward to the matchup of Bucs CB Darrelle Revis and Lions WR Calvin "Megatron" Johnson on Sunday, but he said too much of the public attention is on Johnson.

"Everybody wants to talk about Megatron," McCoy said. "We've got Optimus Prime. Everybody knows how that ended in the (Transformers) movie. Optimus Prime came out on top. We have a counter for Megatron."

Revis was asked Sunday if he'd faced Johnson before and his response was a simple "Yes, Look at the stats."

In 2010, Revis' Jets beat Johnson's Lions, and Johnson was held to one catch for 13 yards,. That is his low for yards in his past 61 games dating to 2009 and matches his low for receptions in that span.